Monday was the start of week six in my Team Challenge training program. I have been waking up early to go to the gym. I have run a 5k and I am scheduled to run another on Saturday. But the physical training is only one aspect of Team Challenge. I think of it as a “grass roots” effort to raise awareness and raise the funds needed for research and patient programs. Yes, I have to train my body to complete a half marathon, but I also have to get the word out in the community, I have to raise money to help the foundation pay for research, patient programs and continuing education for medical providers.
Since the beginning of my journey I have had many people ask, “What is Crohn’s, what is Ulcerative Colitis?” I have also heard the question, “Why are you raising money for this cause?” Well, the answer is, I’ve been a patient. I’ve gone through the pain and the embarrassment. Outsiders knew I was sick, it was obvious. There was the weight loss, the constant running to the bathroom, the grey pallor from the loss of blood and the lack of sleep. The question now is how do I talk about that? How can I raise awareness about a subject that is so taboo? No one talks about their bathroom habits especially if something is wrong. Most people don’t want to even tell a family member, I know I didn’t. I claimed it was the stomach flu or maybe food poisoning, anything but what it really was. So that brings me to where I am now: making an effort to talk about it in the newspaper, in my blog, anywhere and everywhere. I am making the effort to raise awareness.
It is with that thought in mind that I’d like to share some information about the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. The following information can be found on their web site, I encourage you to visit their website if you have questions or want more information.
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), these painful, chronic illnesses affect approximately 1.4 million Americans, including some 140,000 children under the age of 18. CCFA was founded in 1967.
CCFA is supported solely by individual, foundation, and corporate contributions.
- More than 81 cents of every dollar CCFA spends goes directly into research and educational programs.
- CCFA is among the top-rated charities in the American Institute of Philanthropy's Charity Rating Guide (www.charitywatch.org)
· CCFA provides educational programs for patients, physicians, and the public, including Webcasts and live education seminars; 300 active support groups; chapter newsletters; a national magazine; informational brochures and books; an Information Resource Center accessible at 888.MY.GUT.PAIN and www.ccfa.org; a scientific journal; professional medical forums; and research publications. The foundation distributes more than one million pieces of literature every year.
Back to you Bob...